My Short Stories

Fiction

Story by Lee Su Min

My Old Abode

Sleeping Alone

Chapter 1

Cher the cat

I found that every time I used a path often enough, invariably some changes were made to it, like someone was marking my footsteps.

I was no important person, just an ordinary citizen in this small city. The land area of this city was small. It was called the Lion City and became a republic more than fifty years ago, complete with its’ own aircrafts, warships, and all military preparations ready to fight a war, if its’ sovereignty was being challenged.

You could say that I was paranoid.

I lived here, as I was born within these borders. Like a fish that was used to tropical waters, or an orchid that was cultivated on this earth, I was unable to move. Not that I was unwilling to, but that I was used to the way things were, here. I liked the fact that things could be done very quickly here.

Even the rain poured easily without warning.

In this country, you turned on the tap, you expected water to come out. You tapped the switch, the bulbs would light up, and if you pressed the remote control, the television screen would come on. Everything worked, everyone worked. If it didn’t you call the serviceman, he would come ready with his tools in his little van within the hour. That was why I liked it here. This place was convenient. This was my home.

But things have begun to change recently.

You couldn’t say that I didn’t like the other people who lived here, as I rarely have anything much to do with them. Most of the time I was alone, as I liked to be doing things alone. I found that too many people doing the same things at the same time tended to make it worse. I have always been used to managing the fort by myself.

You could call it a training. My master used to engage a large number of contractors to renovate the house where I used to live in, and the noise and hammering by the contractors the plumbers the carpenters coming in and going out altogether sank in as part of my mental makeup. I liked contractors, I was used to them. My master renovated his house without fail once a year at least so that having contractors at my home has become a part of my routine.

My neighbour Trevor Tan was a man from China. I often saw him coming home whenever my mistress left her front door open.

Chapter 2

Trevor the neighbour

When Trevor came back this evening he found the neighbour’s entire house in darkness, all the lights were off. The door was left open and the television set was on. You couldn’t say that the house was in pitch darkness because some lights were emitting from the television screen.

Trevor entered the flat, tip toed to the sofa, picked up the remote control under the table. And as he offed it, he realised that he had turned off all the lights at the same time since the only source of light came from the television. He turned on the television again.

The news was unpleasant but that was not what he was concerned about. What he wanted to do was to find out where the neighbour Mrs. Song was. It was already 8:00 p.m., so that if she were in the kitchen the lights should be on indicating some form of activity.

Then suddenly he saw Mrs. Song opening her bedroom door, and a man walking out at the same time. If he couldn’t understand Chinese no one would have been alarmed. But fact was that Trevor understood what she was saying – “see you again sometime,” to which the man replied, “if I don't see you, that means that my wife is keeping taps on me.”

By nature Trevor was a curious person, so he waited to see the response of Mrs. Song. She promptly sent the man out of the front door and then went back into the bedroom leaving Trevor in her house.

All these happened as though Mrs. Song did not see Trevor.

Trevor quickly retreated out of Mrs. Song’s house back into his home in case she came out to confront him. He had not realized that he had trespassed upon her property. The fact that she left her front door opened was an invitation to treat.

At the same time Mrs. Song’s cat Cher slipped out of her flat and went into Trevor’s house. Cher’s movement was so quiet that neither one of them could have noticed it.

Chapter 3

Trevor

Tonight Trevor told himself that he was just going to relax. He bought a cheese burger from the Lunch Crowd Café and he made some tea for himself before he turned on the television. The news was not reassuring. The Supreme Leader of the North Korea Kim Jong En had decided to test his nuclear power once again. He has launched another one of his ICBMs.

Most of which Trevor heard had gone into the sea. The rest was still unknown. When everyone seemed to be talking about world peace the man was flexing his muscle by pointing his nuclear power towards the sky which is altogether incomprehensible. I read that North Korea was a very different country from the rest of the world. The streets were quiet and no one talked bad about Leader Kim. In fact, no one talked.

With a certain amount of disgust, Trevor turned off the television. He’d rather listen to some more cheerful news. Like the French election whereby the result did not affect him one way or the other. Whoever won, be it far-right or centre-right, it was still the right wing. And in any case they were going to leave the EU. The French currency was not the world currency like the U.S. dollar. Trevor allowed the noise from the television to occupy the audio space in the bedroom before he went in to take a shower.

No one was with him at the time. Or so he thought.

Cher was in.

Chapter 4

Zubin the guard

Robert Zubin knew that she was back. Once he was satisfied that Jacqueline was back at home he took another final round of the estate. He could see that the lights in her kitchen were on, and he noted the hour on his iPhone. The time was specific: 19:38.

Tonight Zubin noticed that Jacqueline was wearing a ring on her finger. She looked visibly engrossed in some activity, and he noted that she had been late in returning three nights in a row. His was beginning to wonder if Jacqueline had found a boyfriend.

Forty-five minutes later Zubin found himself back at the guard post. Zubin was one of the four guards at the estate. Making sure that Jacqueline was locked up at this estate was Zubin’s business. No one knew about this special task except Zubin himself, and Zubin told no one about it. Peter Ling his supervisor in charge of the small piece of property was stationed at another spot not so far away.

Zubin’s attire was a light blue and navy pants. He always changed out of his uniform before he left the guard post. His wife Fatimah picked him up at 8:40 p.m. I said 8:40 and not eight-thirty because her timing was very precise.

Once Zubin saw Fatimah he completely forgot about Jacqueline.

“What have you cooked tonight?” Zubin asked.

“Fish ball soup and Chap Chye.” Fatimah replied.

The menu was boring, and so was Fatimah.

Zubin knew that Fatimah would never leave him, so it was no use treating her badly. He was always civil to Fatimah even if Jacqueline were at the back of his mind. Like when he greeted Jacqueline he was actually speaking to Fatimah, or vice versa. He hoped to do a synchronisation by the end of this month, meaning to say that he wanted to make Jacqueline a cache of Fatimah.

Chapter 5

Fatimah, Zubin’s wife

Zubin always felt that women were trouble makers, so that he hated and avoided any meaningful conversation with them.

As far as Fatimah was concerned, so long as she has Zubin coming home for dinner every evening, things were ok between the two of them. She hasn't slept with Zubin for as long as she could remember. Sex was not an activity which she looked forward to. Her account with Zubin was jointalternate so that if he died, her means to a livelihood was not frozen.

You could say that there was no reason why Zubin took upon watching Jacqueline as his extra duty. Nobody told him to monitor her, he just felt that a woman living on her own needed to be checked. Zubin didn't know Jacqueline’s details, whether she was younger or older than he.

Chapter 6

Trevor

Again Trevor found the neighbour’s door open. He pretended that he was concerned about Mrs. Song’s property and her safety. Trevor was at least ninety per cent sure that Mrs. Song was an escort. But that he did not know how best to approach her. Fact that her front door was always open indicated that she was in the business. Ordinary women don’t leave their front doors open.

He found a cat inside the house and he ignored it and sat on the sofa. The cat paid no attention to him and he wondered if he should look for Jacqueline in the other parts of the house. He waited and after fifteen minutes when no one else appeared he walked out of her apartment closing the front door behind him.

No one knew where Jacqueline was at the time. Only Zubin knew that she was still outside the estate.

Chapter 7

Zubin

As Robert Zubin was making his final round at 7:15 p.m. this evening, he came across a fawn cat. The cat was perched at the bay window in one of the apartments. You could see it from the garden trail. It looked like a porcelain cat, unreal. Zubin observed the creature for some time and it didn’t move.

He couldn’t determine if it were a real cat or just a figurine. He stood at the spot for ten minutes and still the creature was there. It was standing upright so that it could not have been asleep. Its eyes were a light blue, and it was staring right at Trevor. Trevor was almost certain that it was real.

Zubin stood there for about ten minutes, and then he realized that it was silly to confront a feline. He immediately walked away from the spot and proceeded to go further down the path. And then he carried on his way to the other parts of the estate. The property housed two hundred and fiftyfour units.

For someone who has served in the police force before, this job at the estate was relatively simple. The residents were working class and Sleeping Alone Story by Lee Su Min 8 Zubin understood that most who lived here owned their units without a mortgage.

Chapter 8

Trevor

Trevor Tan took his midnight jog as usual. He liked to jog during this hour when there was no traffic on the roads and the streets relatively quiet. Trevor was working for a financial company called Marketing Basket and he usually came back before 8:00 p.m. every night. His father who lived at a bungalow not so far away was a multi-millionaire.

Many people expected him to be working with his Dad and in fact Trevor did try, but was regarded as a spy for the directors so that no one in the office would talk to him, much less lunch with him. He was in this new office without anyone knowing about his background.

Usually he dined alone. He has been used to this for a long time. After a heavy rain, the ground was soaking wet with his footprints on the mud as he passed. Trevor never looked back. When he jogged he ran as fast as he could. It was like he was racing against time. His Dad was looking forward to a grandchild from his younger brother, and once the baby arrived the old man was likely to leave the larger part of his estate to the younger Tan.

Trevor has no close friends, neither did he have any enemies. He lived for himself and he was answerable only to his bank account. He managed his life so that he need never have to borrow from anyone.

As he was jogging around the estate Trevor heard a meow. He continued with his path, but further down he heard another meow. It sounded like a baby crying. Trevor was unsure if it were a baby or actually something else. He went in to the bushes and there he saw a fawn creature.

It was a cat!

The cat was lying on the muddy ground and looking up at him. Its emerald eyes sparkled at him. Trevor could not help but pick it up. The fawn creature melt in his arms and Trevor was immediately mesmerised. He carried the cat all the way back to his flat, and then he placed her on his rug.

The cat was happy and so was Trevor. He knew what he must do straight away. Immediately he went straight to the fridge to get some milk. He poured a sizable amount onto the plate and he placed it right in front of the cat. The feline lapped it up without as much as a wink.

Trevor got a blanket and placed it on top of the cat and both of them fell asleep on the bed. The next day, Trevor felt someone scratching at his face, and he awoke instantly. He opened his eyes and he saw that it was Mimi. Trevor named her Mimi because all cats were called Mimi.

In the morning the buzzer sounded and Trevor woke up suddenly and found that he was late. He jumped up from bed and promptly went for his shower. Ten minutes later he was all shaved and ready for work. Mimi stood by the railings of the bed and waited for him to leave the house. It was as though the cat had claimed territorial rights to his home in one night.

Chapter 9

Zubin

Robert Zubin said hello to Trevor as usual. He was keen on making sure that every resident in the estate knew that he was doing his job well. He remembered the face of each and every one so that he knew roughly whether they were at home during the day.

The minute he took his round and saw that the lights in Jacqueline’s kitchen were off, he knew that everything was fine. It would seem that Zubin depended on Jacqueline too much. There was no reason why Jacqueline’s wellbeing equated with everyone else’s wellbeing.

Once Trevor passed the side gate back into the estate, he was no longer Robert Zubin’s business.

Chapter 10

Trevor

Trevor took the bus. He did not own a car for the simple reason that he did not have a licence. The bus ride was half hour to forty-five minutes. He would read the news on his iPhone, so that before he arrived at the office he already knew what was happening on the other side of the globe.

He never missed a chance to make money for his clients and they liked him a lot. However his relationship with them was confined to merely the emergency lunch. Meaning that they needed to either pull large sums of money out or inject lots of cash into the sector or equity of Trevor’s choice.

Trevor’s terms to them was that they must abide by his judgment and that they were not to question him on why he made certain moves.

Working in a financial company was like manoeuvring a boat at the foot of a waterfall and at times scary. But with Trevor’s business acumen it was usually plain sailing and always rewarding. He has more or less mastered the technique of reading the market forces of demand and supply. He played it like a game of chess and always made sure he got the queen before he went home.

Chapter 11

Zubin

Robert Zubin used to think that animals such as cats and dogs were sub-humans and that those who kept them were low-class human beings. Maybe the fact has something to do with his religion. Muslims abhorred animals, dogs especially. Zubin couldn’t explain why. It was just like that. Like if you asked him why a bird could fly but that he couldn’t unless he booked a ticket on a plane.

But after his encounter with Trevor his views somewhat changed. Zubin looked upon Trevor as the de facto manager of the entire estate. Trevor carried with him the look of success and a kind of composure which no one else could imitate. You could say that Zubin emulated Trevor, so that if the man approved of cats Zubin also would.

Chapter 12

Jacqueline the lady

As usual, when Jacqueline came home the first thing she did was to look for Cher. Cher was not at the bay window. Jacqueline searched the entire house including the storeroom. No Cher was there.

Cher could be hiding under the bed!

Jacqueline checked under her wooden bed as well.

In the end she gave up. She was fond of Cher, but the feeling may not be reciprocated. After all Cher was just a cat, and what more could you expect from a feline?!

Jacqueline had a picture of Cher perched on the carpet with her fat tail, taken just three weeks ago. But Jacqueline knew that she could not report the disappearance to the estate office.

Jacqueline couldn’t remember where she met Zubin before. It could have been in the old office where she used to work.

The Police were after Jacqueline which was the reason why she was lying siege in this house. This address here had no block number and no unit number, there was only a building name. And even then you call the blocks by the names of the flowers. No one knew the actual address. At most they knew the IP address of her computer when she turned it on.

You could say that someone who was wanted by the Police has different traits from other ordinary citizens. They disliked having people walking behind them, even be it just for a short duration.

Jacqueline could not say that Robert Zubin was stalking her. He was working here as a guard and he has every right to stand on the same grounds as she. It was just that she could see the flicker in his eyes whenever she greeted him, perhaps a sign of recognition, a hello from the past.

Chapter 13

Trevor

Mrs. Song has a nice smile and could only be described as being attractive. It did occur to Trevor that he could ask her out for dinner one night since she was living alone. The only thing that prevented him from doing so was the fact that she might also be married, even though it seemed from the other night that the Chinese man was one of her customers.

Apart from that night he has never seen her with other men in the vicinity. Several times he was about to enquire if he was also in Singapore. But Trevor did not know that Mrs. Song also went by the Christian name Jacqueline.

Jacqueline was married to Gordon Song in Singapore before he left for China. They have been separated for six years by now. In one year’s time at seven years if Jacqueline did not hear from Gordon he could be presumed dead. And then Jacqueline would be free to remarry.

Jacqueline was used to living alone. Being able to sleep on a queensize bed alone was to her a luxury. In contrast Cher was left to lie on the cold tiled floor to sleep.

And Cher was only fed with water and dried cat food.

Chapter 14

Jacqueline

Jacqueline went to the kitchen to reheat the curry puff that she had bought from Old Chang Kee, kept in the fridge since the night before. She found that she was still hungry after the meal. There was no more food left in the fridge except for a few apples and some pears. The bread had already passed its’ expiry date.

Whilst she was heating up the curry puff she heard the doorbell ring. She never had any visitor.

It was the Police!

Jacqueline hesitated, wondering if she should pretend that she was not at home. But then the security would have told them. She had greeted Zubin when she came in. With no choice she arrived at the front door and opened it, surprised to find that it was a man dressed in plain clothes.

The man held out a parcel and produced an iPad for her to sign on. She saw the recipient’s name as Trevor Tan and she reluctantly accepted delivery. Jacqueline did not remember that she placed an order for any products but that she did not want to cause any fuss.

Jacqueline, Mrs. Song had no idea that the man was just living next door. She concluded that the parcel must belong to the previous occupant of her unit. She moved in here about a year ago.

The parcel felt like a hot potato on her hands. Jacqueline placed it at a corner where she would not be reminded of it. She was not about to look for the owner to return the parcel.

Chapter 15

Trevor

Trevor came out of the office and found that it was pouring. It has been raining steadily for the last three weeks and this wasn’t even autumn.

He was beginning to feel that the rain was a deliberate attempt to foil his jogging efforts.

When Trevor finally secured a taxi to pick him up he was considerably relieved. He grabbed one of the umbrellas and when the Grab car came he was relieved to find that it was a white Mercedes Benz. The car was almost brand new and he ordered the man to take his route.

“No, I am just following the GPRS,” the driver declared.

“But your wheel is tied to the map so that if you make the wrong turning, the map will only re-route, it does not give you the fastest and shortest route.”

When he saw that the driver was unresponsive he became exasperated,

“Listen, I am the passenger and I am in your car now, I can tell you how to go there, why don’t you just look out of your window and follow my directions?”

“Ok, then I don’t know. You just guide me,” the driver decided to discharge his duty there and then.

As a result, Trevor could not read so that he missed out on some important news. His schedule was being disrupted today and he became very irritated.

The moment he reached home Trevor rang the old man. This was just to remind him that his elder son was still around and to enquire if he had been promoted to an avuncular status. Not that he welcomed the fact. 

Chapter 16

Zubin

Robert Zubin saw her red shoes and he knew that it was she at once. He pretended not to notice Jacqueline by not looking up, but fact was that he knew her too well. He knew her for a long time, longer than she would realise.

A new signpost with the name of the estate engraved was erected. The signpost gave Jacqueline an idea of where she was in. In Jacqueline’s mind she was still living in a remote area the location only she knew. The entire estate was painted in one uniform colour. It was not easy to recognise which block you were in.

One turning was no different from the other, so that if you missed the right turning you ended up walking round and round.

An email came to Zubin via his supervisor this morning. The company which employed them wanted Zubin to work at another estate. This was bad news, as that would at once remove the link Zubin has with Jacqueline.

The object was clear. Zubin didn’t know who was actually behind it. So far he has not made any enemies. No one knew that Zubin had met with Jacqueline before, not even Jacqueline herself. Apparently the other people in the estate had started to notice that Zubin watched over Jacqueline.

Chapter 17

Jacqueline

On the way home tonight Jacqueline found a police car waiting by the side. She was a little uneasy about it but Jacqueline had no idea where Gordon was so she could not warn him not to come.

“Hello Zubin, what happened?” Jacqueline tried to find out.

“Nothing, nothing at all,” Zubin replied.

She had to ask him four times before he would supply her with the answer. She was sure that the authorities found Gordon again.

“No, the car was here about an hour ago,” Zubin said.

“Who are they looking for?’ Jacqueline asked.

“Nothing, nothing, ma’am,” the man said.

“Has someone ….” Zubin turned his head away, unwilling to offer further information.

Jacqueline proceeded to walk in, once she ascertained that the matter did not concern her. If the Police came to look for her, it could mean that Gordon was in trouble overseas. And then she might need to give legitimacy to their marital status.

Chapter 18

Jacqueline

This morning the estate cleaner came and summoned Jacqueline to remove the potted plants at her corridor.

“You have to remove them immediately,” the Indian lady ordered.

“Why? It doesn’t obstruct anybody,” Jacqueline replied.

“No, this is our house rules,” the woman refused to budge.

And then she gave Jacqueline orders to do so at once.

Jacqueline was exasperated beyond comprehension but still she kept her cool. The plants were getting sunlight at the corridor and very welcoming for they cheered her up considerably. Finally after some tussle Jacqueline relented.

I must not create any attention. So that Jacqueline went back into her apartment and stayed in throughout the day.

The net result was that Jacqueline forgot to buy cat food for Cher. Cher did not ate fish and milk.

Chapter 19

Trevor

As expected, the rain came when Trevor was just about to leave for the office. He decided to head for the gym on the fifteenth floor instead. The man who manned the centre did not look surprised when Trevor walked in, this time the third occasion in the same week. And today was not even Friday yet. He registered his name at the counter and walked straight ahead to the treadmill.

After pressing a few buttons, the belt moved and the equipment started with a grunt. He walked as fast as he could and knew that it served no purpose as he was just walking on the same spot. Exercise which did not make you perspire did not expel the toxins in your body.

The manager came up to Trevor and pointed him to the other equipment. It was as though he was waiting for Trevor to fail at the treadmill.

“You should bring a towel the next time you come,” the man said.

Trevor did not think it necessary to ask for the man’s name. They all looked the same – young, inexperienced. In any case, he might resign before I come in the next time. Trevor thought to himself.

Frustrated by his own lack of fitness Trevor became angry.

“Oh shits!” he said.

“What is wrong?” the young man asked.

Trevor grabbed a bottle of ice water from the fridge and rushed out of the gym.

“Sir, you haven’t paid,” the manager shouted after him.

Thank God the rain stopped when he arrived at the entrance below the gym. Trevor took a deep breath and started his evening stroll.

Chapter 20

Zubin

Police officers have a certain look – strict. They looked straight ahead and rarely moved their heads. Their walk was firm and their torsos upright. It was not incorrect to say that their duty was to uphold the law. Most of the time their eyes were fixed at a spot and you never knew what they were thinking of. But so long as they didn’t smile at you, you should consider yourself lucky. If they did that meant that you were the subject of their perusal.

Zubin was in the police force before, so he knew what to expect. His former supervisor was the head of the Interpol and according to the top, the headquarters in Lyon in France, they were looking for Jacqueline’s lover.

Chapter 21

Jacqueline

The train stopped working this morning so Jacqueline took a bus. A woman on the same bus got down after three stops. She had her son with her – Jacqueline assumed it to be her son. She wasn’t rude or anything like that to Jacqueline but for the fact that the woman noticed her cheap shoes and lousy bag. The general message seemed to be that she has a rich husband. Jacqueline could see that she was wearing a Chanel as the prominent double c was there – unless it was an imitation.

They communicated with each other by thoughts with Jacqueline ended thinking – “yes unlike you, I don’t have a rich husband”. Jacqueline became impatient to be rid of Gordon Song. She was still attractive enough to engage someone and she remembered Trevor that day sitting on her sofa briefly.

Jacqueline knew that she could not quarrel with anyone. If a scene was created on the bus the journey would have to be disrupted and then the Land Transport Authority would be involved. It would prevent Jacqueline from getting back in time for Cher’s meal.

Cher needed her cat food.

Chapter 22

Jacqueline

Housebreaking did not always occur at night. Some thieves do break in by day. But of course the punishment was greater by day for the thief was showing to the law makers his blatant disregard – “committed under broad daylight.” The authorities had announced that there was a spat of housebreaking and it seemed that the total estimated losses amounted to over one million dollars.

You guessed it right. Cher was gone.

Jacqueline sat at her flat.

She was completely lost. She could not report the loss of Cher. She knew no one at the estate whereby she could talk to. She was not close to any of the neighbours. All she could think of was how to explain to Gordon Song when he came back if at all. The cat was given to her from him. He told her that Cher was an extremely smart cat so that if she didn’t find him, she could always depend on Cher to “sniff me out”, as he put it.

She knew Gordon’s number by heart. So she rang him now that Cher was not at sight.

“I am coming,” Gordon said over the phone. Jacqueline was hundred percent sure that it was Gordon on the other end. She recognised his voice at once. The minute she heard Gordon’s voice she was relieved that the man was still alive.

Sleeping Alone Story by Lee Su Min 22 Jacqueline sat in the dark for thirty minutes, afterwards she went to the kitchen to make herself some food. There was only one piece of leftover fish in the fridge, she reheated it and then she made some tea for herself.

Without Cher by her side, Jacqueline had the entire queen-size bed to herself, and she was able to sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. The cat always announced her need to use the cat litter beforehand, as though there was a lock to it, when in actual fact it could just hop in and release herself.

At night, Jacqueline dreamt that she was in a cave surrounded by loads of snakes. She knew that it was a sign that Gordon was doing something bad. But that she had no power to stop him as he was too far away, apart from the fact that she knew not where he was. In any case, Gordon never listened to her.

Chapter 23

Mimi

Trevor would have walked out of the estate this morning at 8:15 a.m. if not because of Mimi. When he woke up he found Mimi lying on the floor motionless. The bowl of milk and the chunk of fish was beside the cat but it had not been touched. It would have been clear to anybody with some common sense that his female company had taken ill.

Trevor decided to bring Mimi to the veterinary at once. He entered the words “cat hospital” on the search bar and was glad to find the Camila Veterinary Hospital within the vicinity. He carried Mimi and rushed out of his flat to look for transport.

Zubin could see Trevor taking Mimi out. This was the first time he saw the resident with the animal so he was a little curious. The animal looked exactly like the fawn which he saw at the bay window.

“This your cat?” Zubin started conversation.

“Yes,” Trevor didn’t want to say that he picked Mimi up from the bushes.

“Rather pretty looking,” Zubin said.

“I can’t get transport,” Trevor said.

“Let me help you,” Zubin stepped forward to flag down one of the oncoming cars.

Many taxis passed by and refused to stop. Finally one of them stopped in front of Zubin and wound down his window.

“Where are you going?” the driver asked.

“The Camila Veterinary Hospital,” Trevor said.

The man accommodated but on condition that Trevor paid him double the fare.

“I would have to clean out the car for the next passenger after you alighted,” was his reason.

Doctor Choo the vet gave Mimi an x-ray and declared that the feline must stay for the night for further observations. He brought Trevor to the cat hospital grounds and showed him where Mimi would be sleeping.

Trevor was shocked to see the animal shelter comprising of cages in several rows. He felt revolted and almost vomited.

Trevor was Mimi’s rightful owner now so that he paid for the hospitalisation fee. Before he walked out he promised doctor Choo that he would come back to collect Mimi.

The treatment for Mimi costs more than my own medical fees. Trevor thought to himself as he walked out of the hospital.

The way to treat an animal is not to treat him as an animal. A cat is not a cat unless you meow at her. The message that Trevor got now was very clear – that he was grounded permanently. If Trevor wanted to travel he would have to lock Mimi up here and now that he has seen the living condition he could not bring himself to put Mimi in confinement.

The next day duly at 10:00 a.m. Trevor went straight to the Camila Veterinary Hospital to pick up Mimi. He paid for the exorbitant hospitalisation fee and brought Mimi back to the estate, not forgetting to give the guard Robert Zubin a triumphant wave. And then it was fresh milk for Mimi as usual.

Chapter 24

Jacqueline Jacqueline finally plucked up the courage to confront Zubin on the whereabouts of Cher.

“Ma’am, once I am off duty at 8:00 p.m., I have no idea who comes in. Who is this Cher? Your friend?” Robert Zubin exonerated himself right from the start.

“No, I am not asking about who came in, I am asking you about who went out,” Jacqueline was impatient.

But then further on she continued, “I am referring to my cat,”

It did not take two seconds for Zubin’s brains to tick.

“I can bring you there,” Zubin offered.

“Please!!!” Jacqueline was overjoyed.

Both security and resident walked along the path and arrived at the spot where Zubin first stood, where he saw the fawn creature. It wasn’t a porcelain and that was actually Trevor’s apartment.

There was a cat.

Jacqueline saw and without looking so much as one glance at Zubin she went into the unit to retrieve her lost creature. Trevor’s front door was open. Jacqueline rushed into his flat, almost tripped over the real feline lying on the rug. The porcelain cat was as it should have been – right in front of the bay window. At the same time they both heard a meow and almost like a small hurricane the real cat Cher rushed out of the flat.

Zubin was just too eager to pick up the fawn animal.

With the cat in his hands the security guard walked up to Trevor.

“Sir, I have found your lost pet and am now handing it back to you,” with clear English accent Zubin spoke.

‘My, of course, thank you,” Trevor replied whilst taking over Mimi the creature from Robert Zubin.

Chapter 23

Cher alias Mimi

Even a cat knew who played a better master.

Hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. I wish to write more stories to amuse my readers!